The Red Zone February 2012

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The Black Sheep Ale House
(516) 307-1280, Mineola

Despite its name, The Black Sheep Ale House is not an alcohol-based homage to the 1996 film, Black Sheep, starring David Spade and an almost-deceased Chris Farley.

I’ve always believed Tommy Boy was the superior cinematic collaboration between Spade and Farley, anyway.

Ahem.

The Black Sheep Ale House, a 25-draft establishment operated by Vincent Minutella, former bartender at Stock & Tankard and manager of Croxley’s New York location, offers complimentary hot dogs to patrons while pours of Lagunitas Brewing Company Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale, Rogue Dead Guy Ale and Stone Brewing Company Double Bastard Ale are served. Minutella, who purchased the “corner Irish pub for 90 some odd years” in December of 2010, renovated the space, then O’Donnell’s Pub, with manager Bob Miller. The duo has since compiled a beer list, which also includes 75+ bottles, balancing “seasonality, representation of style, support of local brewers, personal likes and what we thought our clientele would like to see here,” says Minutella.

Genesis of moniker: “After weeks of tossing about every combination of my Irish family name [Burns] and still not finding anything I was happy with, The Black Sheep emerged,” recalls Minutella. “It partly is an homage to my Irish ancestors who were sheep herders in County Roscommon as well as the obvious reference to the ‘black sheep of the family.’ The latter interpretation, along with our motto, ‘Different is Good,’ refers to and celebrates anyone and any beer bold enough to stand out among the crowd.”

Jake’s Steakhouse
(516) 222-8400, East Meadow
jakesstteakhouse.com

TTYL, Runyon’s Roadside Tavern.
Tony McGinley, former owner of Runyon’s Roadside Tavern, transformed the East Meadow pubstaurant into Jake’s Steakhouse, partnered with Peggy Ryan, who established its Bronx location in 2001. Managed by Michael McGinley, nephew of Tony, Jake’s Steakhouse hand-selects each piece of Schuyler, Nebraska-raised meat prior to a mandatory wet-aging minimum of 28 days. Fourteen drafts, including Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Fresh Chester Pale Ale, Kwak, and a seasonal-rotating line from Southampton Publick House, are available for animal-accompaniment.
Food/Beer Pair Matrimony: 35-day dry-aged bone-in ribeye with Cigar City Brewing Maduro Brown Ale. Period.

SUFFOLK

The Park Lounge
(631) 979-1351, Kings Park

“I had an epiphany during my first visit to The Lark Pub & Grub in East Northport,” recalls Jim Pavese, regarding his introduction to craft-dominant establishments on Long Island. “The bar was packed with different taps, and I wanted to bring some of that to my bar.”

Pavese, who opened The Park Lounge with John Weeden in February of 2005, has implemented a shift toward craft beer within its eighteen-tap system, pouring Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales 60 Minute IPA and Long Ireland Beer Company Celtic Ale. However, while Pavese hopes to “broaden customer options,” he insists on “a gradual transition, void of intimidation.” For example, Miller Lite exists amid Gulden Draak and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Celebration Ale.

“The Park Lounge is a neighborhood pub, and we want to respect our clientele,” explains Pavese. “Any drinker of any beer is welcome.”

The Portly Villager
(631) 567-4002, Sayville

A mélange of colonial American maps, rustic farmhouse barrels and wood-carved, Sayville-specific placards adorn The Portly Villager, operated by Marlene Keghlian since March of 2005.

Keghlian, who reconstructed The Portly Villager’s walk-in cold room and doubled its six-draft system in 2010, devoted the half-dozen newbies to “rotating local and seasonal craft.”

“Adding more lines would be suggested during every staff meeting,” says Keghlian, who, during December, poured Anchor Brewing Company Christmas Ale, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company Anti-Freeze and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Celebration Ale. “Once we rebuilt the walk-in, it was our chance to provide fresh product that reflected our local seasons.”

The Portly Villager also offers 30+ signature sandwiches, including its eponymous creation: Londonport roast beef, melted Havarti cheese and horseradish-dijon sauce on pumpernickel.

Click here to follow Niko Krommydas and his blog, Super Neat Beer Adventure, Yes!!, where you can find more on the Long Island craft beer culture.

Photo by Stephen Lang